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Native American Times - News from the crossroads of Indian Country
Updated: 4 hours 14 min ago

Regional Reservation Economic Summit (RES) to Return to Oklahoma in July

June 9, 2016 - 11:50am

The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and Cherokee Nation Businesses will serve as Presenting Sponsors of RES Oklahoma for the second time.

MESA, Ariz. – This summer, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (The National Center) will host its second regional Reservation Economic Summit (RES) in Oklahoma at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Catoosa, just outside of Tulsa. The event will take place from July 11-14 and the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and Cherokee Nation Businesses will serve as presenting sponsors of the event for the second time. The Hard Rock played host to the first regional RES in 2012, which has since expanded to all corners of the country. RES Oklahoma will bring together tribal leaders, elected officials, representatives from business, established or aspiring Native American business owners, and many more to learn, brainstorm, collaborate, and network in an innovative and motivational atmosphere. Alejandra Y. Castillo, National Director of the U.S. Minority Business Development Agency, will keynote at RES Oklahoma and also moderate a panel at the conference entitled, “Entrepreneurship: Leveraging Our Diversity”.

“Our first regional RES event, RES Oklahoma, laid the foundation for expanding our National RES event into successful regional RES events held nationwide,” said National Center President and CEO Gary Davis. “The National Center is excited to return to Oklahoma to host another powerful RES event at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino with such tremendous support from the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Businesses. So much opportunity was facilitated for attendees at our last RES Oklahoma event and I look forward to all the opportunity that will present itself to RES Oklahoma attendees this year. We are particularly pleased that MBDA National Director Castillo, who has worked tirelessly with the National Center to advance economic opportunity in Indian Country, will be keynoting at RES Oklahoma. We hope tribes and tribal entities, as well as corporate America, come out in full force for this top-flight business event taking place in the heart of Indian Country.”

In addition to seminars and sessions across a wide variety of topics and countless networking opportunities, the Office of Environmental Management and the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) within the Department of Energy (DOE) will also host a Business Opportunity forum at RES Oklahoma. J. E. "Jack" Surash, P.E., DOE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition & Project Management and OSDBU Director John Hale III will be participating in the forum. Mr. Surash is responsible for developing and implementing site and project specific acquisition and contract strategies and for overseeing placement and execution of all Office of Environmental Management (EM) contracts in the field. These offices seek to partner with tribal entities in the cleanup effort of the Manhattan Project and the nuclear legacy of America’s Cold War defense, which is valued at approximately $6 billion per year. Topics to be discussed include the status of ongoing and upcoming procurement opportunities.
RES Oklahoma will feature RES staples such as its Native American business trade show, a Buy Native Procurement Matchmaking Expo, and an Interactive Access to Capital Fair. RES Oklahoma will again offer a one-day Entrepreneurship Boot Camp to help assist and strength American Indian small businesses.

The National Center is also excited to host its second Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (YES!), a day-long event designed for Native high school and college-aged students interested in business and entrepreneurship to hone their skills and learn more about what it takes to become successful in business. Participants learn from accomplished entrepreneurs about the strategies, skills, and best practices that have helped them reach their business dreams. The first YES! took place at last fall at RES New Mexico, where over 200 Native youth attended.

The last RES event was National RES at the Mirage in Las Vegas, where the National Center celebrated 30 years of RES. Approximately 4,000 people were on hand to celebrate a momentous anniversary for the largest business event in Indian Country.

Please visit www.res.ncaied.org for more information about the conference and to register and take advantage of the early bird rate.


About the National Center: The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. With over 40 years of assisting American Indian Tribes and their enterprises with business and economic development – we have evolved into the largest national Indian specific business organization in the nation. Our motto is: “We Mean Business For Indian Country” as we are actively engaged in helping Tribal Nations and Native business people realize their business goals and are dedicated to putting the whole of Indian Country to work to better the lives of American Indian people- both now… and for generations to come.

Feds suggest counseling over detention for tribal youth

March 1, 2016 - 3:33pm

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – The federal government recommends Native American children’s courts dole out treatment, counseling and foster care instead of fines and detention, a change in tribal guidelines that reflects a national shift in juvenile justice reform.

The Interior, Justice and Health and Human Services departments released their guidelines Monday, updating a three-decade-old juvenile justice code and suggesting detention should be a last resort for tribal youth, especially runaways and those who struggle with addiction or truancy.

Young Native Americans made up as much as 8 percent of detainees in Indian Country jails in 2014, and roughly half the small number of juveniles in federal custody between 1999 and 2008, the most recent available statistics show.

Nationwide, more states are looking for alternatives to detention for all youth. The revisions come six years after other guidelines for Indian Country called on federal courts and law enforcement to make incarceration a last resort in adult cases.

When Native American youth violate laws on reservations, tribal courts typically handle misdemeanor cases while federal courts deal with more serious felony charges.

“We’ve been looking at how our systems can better serve tribal youth,” said Larry Roberts, the Interior Department’s acting assistant secretary for Indian Affairs. “We really are trying to make sure our youth – for whatever reason if they come into contact with juvenile courts – are given the opportunity to both heal and be productive members of society.”

Several organizations, including the National Congress of American Indians, helped the government revise the guidelines to update the tribal juvenile code that the National Indian Justice Center initially helped develop in the 1980s. Calls to both groups requesting comment were not immediately returned Monday.

The Interior Department is required by law to provide a suggested framework for tribes for handling juvenile cases.

The research by those involved found tribal juvenile criminal codes were nearly indistinguishable from those for adults. The finding suggests a breakdown in a system that the Justice Department said in 2013 posed significant obstacles for tribal youth.

The recommended changes in the guidelines also call for ensuring youth have legal representation in juvenile proceedings, something not all tribal court systems guarantee.

Tribes have final say over whether they will adopt the recommendations, and it is not clear how many will. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is planning listening and consultation sessions with tribes over the coming weeks, Roberts said.

“Tribes can take pieces of the code and mold it to the needs of their cultures and their communities,” he said.

As many as 190 juveniles were jailed in Indian Country in 2014, according to the most recent data available from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics.

About 43 to 60 percent of juveniles in federal custody between 1999 and 2008 were Native American, according to a one-time report by the department’s Indian Law and Order Commission.

At the end of 2015, a total of 26 juveniles were being held in federal facilities, but the agency did not release a racial breakdown.

U.S. Department of Education Announces $3 Million In Grants Available to Help Native Youth

April 29, 2015 - 12:10pm

The U.S. Department of Education today announced the availability of an estimated $3 million in grants to help Native American youth become college- and career-ready. Funding for the new Native Youth Community Projects is a key step toward implementing President Obama’s commitment to improving the lives of American Indian and Alaskan Native children. The new grants will support the President’s Generation Indigenous “Gen I” Initiative launched last year to help Native American youth.
 
“We know that tribes are in the best position to determine the needs and barriers that Native youth face,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.  “The Native Youth Community Projects will allow tribal communities to come together to improve outcomes for students.”
 
In a Federal Register notice, the Department said it would award five to seven demonstration grants ranging from $400,000 to $600,000 to tribal communities before Sept. 30. The new program is based on significant consultation with tribal communities and recognizes that these communities are best-positioned to:
 
·       Identify key barriers to improving educational and life outcomes for Native youth, and
·       Develop and implement locally produced strategies designed to address those barriers.
 
Each grant will support a coordinated, focused approach chosen by a community partnership that includes a tribe, local schools and other optional service providers or organizations. For example, the program allows tribes to identify ways to achieve college and career readiness specific to their own communities – whether it’s early learning, language immersion or mental health services.  Communities can tailor actions to address one or more of those issues. The success of these first projects will guide the work of future practices that improve the educational opportunities and achievement of preschool, elementary and secondary Indian students.
 
The President’s FY 2016 budget proposal calls for increased investments across Indian Country, including a total request of $20.8 billion for a range of federal programs that serve tribes – a $1.5 billion increase over the 2015-enacted level. The budget proposal includes $53 million for fiscal year 2016 – a $50 million increase from this year – to significantly expand the Native Youth Community Projects program.
 
For more on the Administration’s investment in Native American issues, visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/nativeamericans.

OST Seeks Advisory Board Nominees

December 8, 2014 - 11:55am

Total of Nine Board Members needed, Submission Deadline is December 29th

WASHINGTON – The Special Trustee for American Indians is requesting candidate nominations for individuals to serve on the Special Trustee Advisory Board. The board’s purpose, as defined in the 1994 American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act (“Reform Act”), is to provide advice to the Special Trustee on all matters associated with the trust responsibilities overseen by the office.

“This board is an opportunity for OST to receive meaningful advice and prudent perspectives on trust management reforms at the Department of the Interior,” said Special Trustee, Vincent G. Logan. “The Reform Act directed the Special Trustee to appoint leaders from academia and finance so that OST can maintain a beneficiary focus and deliver well-informed trust management services to individual Indian and tribal beneficiaries.”

The board is not subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act and members will serve two-year terms without compensation. The board, as required by the Reform Act, is composed of:

five members representing trust fund account holders, including both tribal and Individual Indian Money accounts;

two members with practical experience in trust fund and financial management;

one member with practical experience in fiduciary investment management; and,

one member from academia with knowledge of general management of large organizations.

Nominations should include a résumé or other documents demonstrating qualifications for at least one of the board member categories listed above. Self-nominations will receive equal consideration.

Nominations must be submitted by December 29, 2014, to:

             Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, Attn: Lee Frazier
             Department of the Interior
             1849 C Street, NW, Mailstop 3256
             Washington, DC 20240

Additional details about the request for nominations can be found in the Federal Registry notice located at:   https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/11/28/2014-28139/request-for-nominations-to-serve-on-the-special-trustee-advisory-board

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The OST mission is to oversee fiduciary trust responsibilities to American Indian tribes, individual Indians and Alaska Natives with a beneficiary focus and beneficiary participation while providing competent stewardship and effective management of trust assets.